This week we are excited to try out a new way of presenting helpful nutrition information with a tool called Prezi!
Prezi takes boring slideshows to a whole new level and you will see the cool ways we used it to incorporate pictures, graphs and even YouTube videos so that this is NOT your typical, boring vitamin lesson.
Once the Prezi loads, just click the play button below the presentation to scroll through the slides. If you want to view it fullscreen, you can find that option by clicking “More” to the right of the play button. Please let us know how you like it!
For those reading through RSS, here’s the same information, list fashion
1. What are the best food sources of vitamin A?
- Animal Sources (retinol form): liver or liver products like pate, eggs, and dairy products like butter, whole milk, and cheese (found in the milk fat)
- Fruits & Vegetables (beta carotene form): carrots, tomatoes, spinach, bell pepper, sweet potato, butternut squash, cantaloupe, and mango (think orange or dark leafy greens)
- Fortified foods: vegetable margarine, breakfast cereals, and nonfat milk are fortified with varying levels of vitamin A, but are not natural sources
2. What is the difference between beta-carotene and retinol? Which is better?
- Beta-carotene = plant form that our body turns into vitamin A and is never toxic at any level.
- Retinol = pre-formed version found in animal products that can be toxic at VERY high levels
We recommend getting vitamin A from fruits and vegetables when possible to avoid extra saturated fat and cholesterol that are higher in the animal sources AND get the many extra nutrients found in fruits and vegetables.
3. So a fat-free salad would be a great source of vitamin A?
- Salads (especially spinach) are a great source of vitamin A, but studies show that vitamin A is significantly better absorbed when there is a little fat eaten with it because it is a fat-soluble vitamin.
- So, add a dash of healthy olive oil, some avocado, or nuts on your salad next time!
4. How much vitamin A do I need?
- 700-900 micrograms per day (about 3,000 IU) is the recommendation for adult females and males respectively
- But since that number doesn’t mean much to most of us…
i. ½ cup baby carrots = 585 micrograms
ii. 1 cup cantaloupe = 270 micrograms
5. What is the food with the most vitamin A?
- A single ounce of polar bear liver – the size of a golf ball – has over 5x the amount of vitamin A considered toxic for humans!
6. So can I get too much vitamin A?
- The upper limit for retinol (animal/fortified foods) is 3,000micrograms (about 10,000 IU)
- You shouldn’t be worried unless eating a lot of fortified foods/supplements or liver products.
If you do eat these:
- Be mindful of how much liver you are eating since 1 oz beef liver = 2,600 micrograms
- Pick a supplement that gets a majority of vitamin A from beta-carotene instead of retinyl acetate
7. What does vitamin A do in my body?
- Vision: Turns out kids are right when they say, “Carrots help you see”
- Antioxidant: Defend your cells against damage and fights wrinkles!
- Improved Immunity: No flu for you!
- Skin Rejuvination: Helps maintain healthy teeth and skin. No spa required.
8. Does processing affect the amount of vitamin A in products?
- In some products. Canned pumpkin has over 3x the amount of vitamin A as regular cooked pumpkin because canning makes it more available for your body to use.
9. Any baking tips to include more vitamin A?
- You can substitute pureed canned pumpkin for equal amounts of fat or oil in your favorite baking recipes!
10. What is a recipe I should try to get more vitamin A?
- Try a new sweet potato dish like Alton Brown’s Chipotle Sweet Potatoes!
[This blog post was prepared by Erica Melling, Fooducate summer intern.]